Power Steering Fluid

Hi Guys,
I have a 94 bmw 530i. I found that there was a leaking at the position just in front of the dash board. Then I discovered the power steering fluid
level was too low.
So is there any chance the leak was due to the power steering fluid. What damage can be caused to the car if the level was too low for a couple of months.
The change of gear of my car is not as smooth as before. Is it the impact due to the low level of the fluid?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Regards to all
Conte
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Well, the power steering is not near the front of the dash board. The power steering pump and all of its attendant hoses are at the front of the motor.
Near the front of the dashboard is where one might find the Brake Master Cylinder, and the Clutch Master Cylinder. These two share the same reservior -- on top of the brake master cylinder. You said that your gear changes are not as smooth as you remember, my guess is that the clutch master is leaking. Normally, this part leaks internally, but it's not impossible for it to leak to the outside.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Actually the power steering reservoir is in front of the firewall on the drivers side on an E34 530i, just in front of the brake reservoir. And the hose connections on the bottom of this reservoir are a know weak point. Many E34s develop leakage in that area. The fix is to remove the crimped hose restraints and replace them with regular worm gear style hose clamps.
There is unlikely to be any damage or relationship between the gear changes and the power steering leaks. But, the OP did not mention if his 530i was an automatic or manual transmission which would be important. If a manual then perhaps your assertion that the problem is brake fluid would be correct.
--
-Fred W

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I like to think that my assertion is more like an educated guess ... It very well might be a bad guess, but that's still better than an assertion ;-)

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Hi Fred,
My 530i is automatic. The change of gear was very smooth before. Smooth means you don't even feel the car is changing gear unless you really pay attention to it. Since about a month ago, when the low gear is changed, I felt there is a little slow down in speed before it can change to next gear. Sometimes the car does not move at all when I release the brake paddle after a complete stop. I need to press a little on the gas paddle and the car will jerk to run.
Today I checked the brake/clutch fluid, the level is still above the minimum level. So the problem would be from somewhere else.
Thanks very much for your points
Conte

just
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Conte Ng wrote:

So then, as I originally surmised, the most likely cause of your leakage on the front left (facing forward) side is from the power steering reservoir. Get that sealed up ASAP so it doesn't mess up any rubber things down around there.
There can be no possible correlation between your PS leakage and any shifting problems, aside from the general age of the car and transmission. Your (and my) cars are 10+ years old with "lifetime fill" transmissions that tend to get a bit balky with age. I have opted to not do anything with mine after hearing the multitiudes of horror stories about others that have flushed and refilled the precious fluid (it's damned expensive) only to have caused a total failure in a previously marginally operating unit.
I'll just continue to operate mine, a bit gingerly at that, and see how long she'll go.
YM(on the other hand)MV.
--
-Fred W

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Hi Jeff & Fred,
Thanks very much to you two. I spent 6 bucks on the brake fluid for topping up. After running for 50KM, I found my car runs alot smoother now. I really appreciate of your great help.
Wish I can buy you a big lunch somewhere in the world
Thanks very much indeed.
Conte

just
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